2023 National Carnival Polo Will Be Signature Experience, Organisers Say


Organisers of the 2023 National Carnival Polo Tournament says this year’s event would be a true signature experience.

The tournament which is in its 15th edition is expected to gallop off with fanfare on Saturday at the Guards Polo Club, Abuja and climax with pomp on Dec. 17.

The organisers told newsmen during a press conference at the club on Friday that the scene was set ahead of the much-anticipated
carnival polo extravaganza to give polo buffs and enthusiasts a one-of-a-kind and memorable experience.

Abdullahi Ibrahim, the President of the club said the facilities at the club had been fully upgraded ahead of the nine-day event.

Ibrahim noted that the transformation been witnessed at the club was as a result of the partnership and good working relationship between the Guards Polo Club and the Nigerian Army Polo Association (NAPA).

“I think it’s a product of the partnership between us and our partners, NAPA.

“They are our partners in this journey and we have enjoyed a good working relationship and together we have worked together to transform this place to what it is today.

“Our objective is to transform this facility into a world-class polo facility and that journey is on,” he said.

The president expressed gratitude to all the sponsors who had contributed one way or the other towards ensuring that the tournament was a huge success.

He also wished all the players a memorable and an accident-free tournament.

“We must seize this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate our sponsors without whom this event would not be possible.

“So, to our team and sponsors, I say a big thank you. We appreciate the partnership and we look forward to many more years of fruitful relationship with all of you.

“I am sure you get value for your investment because polo this time around will give you the platform to showcase whatever product or service you are rendering.

“It will also provide the right atmosphere for you to interact with the right kind of audience to further push your products and services,” he said.

Mustapha Junaidu, the first Vice President of the club said the essence of the tournament was in the spirit of carnival and bringing people to celebrate together.

“As you are aware, this tournament we do it in the spirit of Abuja carnival.

“That is the theme of the tournament and that is why we have it up there as the carnival tournament.

“So it’s in the spirit of carnival, bringing people together. Polo is part and parcel of our culture in Nigeria because it has a lot of history, deep rooted history in Nigeria,” he said.

He added that the quality of players participating in the tournament was another significant difference that makes it stand out as a signature experience.

“We have a lot of players in the high goal, we have lots of teams having one player each from Argentina.

“So, it’s going to be a very thrilling tournament indeed,” he said.

Nasiru Lukat, the club Captain said no fewer than 29 teams and 88 players would be participating in the tournament.

Lukat said the teams would be jostling for honours in the four major cups namely: the Guards Challenge Cup, the FCT Minister’s Cup, the Legislative Shield and the President’s Cup.

The captain noted that the President’s Cup was the highest cup which had two teams competing for the tournament’s highest prize.

“The Mighty Rubicon Polo team and the Powerful Malcomines have always competed against each other.

“Malcomines of Jos are the defending champions.

“We are going to have a total of 37 matches and we have no fewer than five international players also taking part in the tournament,” he said.

He assured that the Guards Polo Club, Abuja was ready for this year’s tournament.

“Just like the name signature, it’s something we are going to ride and it’s going to stick.

“Guards Polo Club is ready, the horses, the grooms as well as the players are also ready.

“So I think the only people that we wish are going to be ready are the spectators and our guests,” he said.

Muktar Adhama, the tournament manager promised that this year‘s event would get better as it has always been over the years.

Adhama said it was going to be a week of thrilling polo experience for the lovers of the game.

“Our commitment to this tournament remains strong and we are absolutely passionate about the tournament.

“We are also using this carnival polo tournament to let more polo enthusiasts and the business community know that the Nigerian capital city has a facility like the Guard Polo Club.

“Our pitch is in top shape and the location of the club remains a tourist delight and can comfortably host an international polo tournament of any magnitude,” he said.

Aliyu Umar, the club’s secretary that in addition to the high quality games to be played, there would also be other side attractions expected to give more colour and fun to people from within the FCT and across the country.

“Like you know, the carnival theme created initially by the FCT was to promote tourism.

“We have carried that banner in partnership with FCT and that is why we have the FCT minister.

“We will also continue to contribute our own quota towards creating an environment where people within and outside Abuja as well as those from international community can come and have a nice time,” he said.(NAN)

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